Make Money Online

Archive for March, 2012

How To Team Up for Blogging Success

by on Mar.21, 2012, under Make Money Online

Build Your Online Business Now

Regular readers of John Chow dot Com know about the plethora of resources and tips on this site. I have been a fan of John’s since the beginning and I am happy to say I have gotten to know him on a personal level the past two years as well. While John is known as “the blogger who makes money online by telling people how he makes money online,” I am known as the blogger who “makes money online by eating hot dogs online.” Another big fan of John’s is Kirk Taylor, in fact, Kirk and I met through John. We were both Gold Pass recipients in John’s Affiliate Summit contest for ASW 2011. We have kept an open channel of online correspondence over the past two years and this year, at Affiliate Summit West 2012, we solidified our friendship and became business partners.

Both Kirk and I have entrepreneurial backgrounds, albeit in different industries, but we share the passion of the pursuit. We both like creating things out of nothing to create a business. After Affiliate Summit, Kirk started a website called The Shark Tank Blog. He noticed that posts about the Shark Tank TV show were getting a lot of page views and commentary on his personal site, so he spun it into a site based solely on the show. The site grew at a rapid pace due to the show’s growing popularity and Kirk’s relentless SEO work in the WordPress platform. Before long, he realized he needed some help to keep the site moving forward, so he reached out to me.

Now both Kirk and I have similar skill sets. We can both build a WordPress site, SEO it up and create content, but within those skill sets are different levels of skill. Kirk is a whiz at SEO and I am a prolific writer. We realized that these are complementary skills for creating a high traffic website, so we decided to team up and go into business together with The Shark Tank Blog being our first joint venture. The site has blown up. We have upgraded our server capacity twice in a month due to the traffic spikes on show nights. We are ranking “above the fold” for many keywords- sometimes even higher than the ABC site about the show.

Teaming up with another blogger with complementary skills is a good formula for success, particularly if you need to build a site out quickly. Some people will outsource portions of building out a site, but we didn’t need to because we have all the skills needed to be successful between the two of us. My typical day working on the Shark Tank Blog has me writing two to four posts a day, interviewing people who have appeared on the show, soliciting advertising sales, and assisting Kirk with SEO duties. Kirk spends his day mired in Meta descriptions and code while writing the occasional post and double checking the SEO on my posts prior to publication. There is a synergy here that is working.

Other bloggers can learn from this. I know how hard it is to do everything for a website; it is an overwhelming task at times (especially when you consider I run about a dozen sites). Often times, the lack of time can lead to undone tasks which can ultimately cost you in traffic, readership, and MONEY. Once a site’s income justifies outsourcing, then you can take some burden off yourself, but up until that point, it’s comforting to know you have back-up.

I also know about leveraging traditional media as a means for boosting traffic. As the lines between traditional media (i.e. TV, Newspapers) blur in the online world, it has become more common for traditional media to reach out to “expert” bloggers for material and partnerships. While we don’t have a partnership with ABC, we do, in a sense, partner with the entrepreneurs who appear on the show. We give them a platform to speak to fans and a channel to get their marketing message out. What more targeted place to get a marketing message to people who are fans of Shark Tank than a fan blog- especially a fan blog that ranks high for the keywords the entrepreneurs are trying to rank for?

I am a firm believer in spending as little as possible to get a website going, so having a like minded business partner is a fantastic way to grow a business. Through working together the past two months, Kirk and I have come up with other online projects we are embarking on. The success of our initial project together insures we will be able to hire people to assist with the build out of new sites.

So if you are struggling with “putting it all together” while building your online empire, you may want to consider teaming up with another blogger with complementary skills. You never know where you will find new team members either; it could even be in the comments section of!

Rob Merlino is the Hotdogman and Kirk Taylor is The Serial Entrepreneur. They have started a business together creating niche sites and building websites for small businesses. They “met” on John Chow dot Com!

Check out my personal blog at and my new blog

Leave a Comment more...

Affordable SEO with Best Link Wheels

by on Mar.21, 2012, under Make Money Online

Please visit my sponsor

Search engine optimization can be roughly broken down into one of two categories. On the one hand, you have on-site or internal SEO. This would involve strategies that you’d deploy on your own website, like working with keyword density and adding meta tags. On the other hand, you have off-site or external SEO. This involves strategies that happen away from your own website, like submission to site directories.

Of course, building up backlinks is a big part of off-site SEO, but it can also be very time-consuming and costly. However, as you’ll learn from today’s review of, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can have tons of links to your site without having to empty out your bank account. And those links will help propel your site to the top of the search engines.

What Is a Link Wheel?

Before we go any further, it’s perhaps useful to first define the link wheel. After all, that is the primary product being sold by In essence, a link wheel consists of creating several blogs, microsites and other web properties around a certain niche or topic area. These websites all link to one another in some way, but they also link to the target site (yours).

The idea is that they are able to prop up the rankings of one another, effectively giving more weight to the links that are then being pointed toward your site. Because many of these properties are being set up on established services like and, they already carry a certain amount of “link juice.” And that’s good for you.

Another Generic Service?

When I went to the homepage for Best Link Wheels, I got the eerie sensation that I’ve been here before. This is because the site appears to utilize a rather common WordPress theme and not much has been done to customize it. This ends up giving the site a rather generic feel, especially since there is no custom header or logo at the top of the page.

This shouldn’t necessarily detract from the value of the services being provided, but we all recognize that first impressions can mean a lot. If someone is looking for SEO services, they want to know that they are being handled professionally.

Why Is This Different?

Yes, the sense of being rather generic carries through to the About Us page too, complete with the use of stock images at the top.

From what I can gather, the team at Best Link Wheels isn’t really trying to sell itself as being all that different. Instead, they’re trying to sell themselves as having over 10 years of experience and the promise to complete a link wheel in just fifteen days. There are fifteen full-time employees on staff and they all bring “a range of online marketing attributes.”

How Much Does It Cost?

Rather than offer a wide assortment of SEO services, Best Link Wheels has focused solely on link wheels. Not surprisingly, the number of link wheel service packages has also been kept quite simple: there are just two.

The cheaper of the two is the Link Wheel 25. This gives you 25 each of articles submitted, web 2.0 properties, and web 2.0 profiles, as well as 50 social bookmarks. Each web property includes two links to your site, bringing the total link count to 150. That costs $150. The bigger package is Link Wheel 50, which bumps up to a total of 300 links, doubling the number of articles, web 2.0 properties, and web 2.0 profiles. It also has the added bonus of a YouTube video made in Adobe After Effects with your website information in it. That costs $250.

Every article is unique and every web property is created manually, helping to ensure that they all look “natural” to search engines. In this way, even if Best Link Wheels is on the more generic side of things, it still looks like a pretty decent value.


Leave a Comment more...

WTF? Google Banning AdSense Publishers for “Potential” Fake Clicks!

by on Mar.21, 2012, under Make Money Online

Now, this is a reverse from the innocent until proven guilty route. Google is banning AdSense publishers not because they’ve generated fake clicks, but because they have a risk of doing so!

In the past week, I’ve heard quite a few stories of AdSense accounts getting banned not because of any TOS violation or fraudulent activities. They’re getting banned simply because Google thinks the publisher’s site has the potential to generate fraudulent clicks.

My friend Zac Johnson, who has been an AdSense publisher since Google started it was banned from Google AdSense today. Here’s the email Zac got.

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.


After reviewing our records, we’ve determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity. Because we have a responsibility to protect our AdWords advertisers from inflated costs due to invalid activity, we’ve found it necessary to disable your AdSense account. Your outstanding balance and Google’s share of the revenue will both be fully refunded back to the affected advertisers.

Please understand that we need to take such steps to maintain the effectiveness of Google’s advertising system, particularly the advertiser-publisher relationship. We understand the inconvenience that this may cause you, and we thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we’ve taken, how you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find more information by visiting


The Google AdSense Team

To say Zac was surprised by the email was an understatement. He’s been a publisher since AdSense started back in 2003. He’s never had any fraudulent activities on his account, Google had sent him yearly Christmas gifts for being a great AdSense partner, and now Google has disabled his account not because he’s done anything wrong, but because there is a risk that he might do something wrong!

This isn’t even a case of guilty until proven innocent. Once Google decides you’re guilty, they don’t give you a chance to prove you’re innocent because contacting them is next to impossible, as Zac found out.

Trying to contact Google is definitely one of the areas they aren’t too interesting in improving. Instead of providing support, they will send you in an endless loop of forum posts which pretty much end up no where. If you are lucky enough to finally come across their Invalid Activity Appeal form, you can try your luck again, but they basically sent me the same denial email again. But then again, it’s all from “The Google Adsense Team” and just tells you to get lost in the forums again so I expected nothing less.

Live By The Google, Die By The Google

I have long said that if you live by the Google, you die by the Google. It’s a good thing Zac follows this same mantra. Both Zac and I have diversified our online income well beyond Google AdSense. While Zac will lose a few grand due to Google disabling his AdSense account, it won’t affect his lifestyle that much.

However, for most bloggers, the majority of their income will come from Google. This is a very dangerous position to be in. If Google can ban an account that has made hundreds of thousands of dollars for the possibility of fake clicks, they won’t even blink at banning a small account.

My advice

  1. Build your blog traffic with quality content
  2. Capture the emails of the blog readers
  3. Sell your own products (or affiliate products) to the list

Build a business around the above model, and I guarantee you’ll make way more money than what Google AdSense can ever make. It takes a lot more work but the payoff will be a lot higher, and you won’t have to worry about Google killing off your AdSense account because you might “pose a risk of generating invalid activity.”

*Update My friend Gauher Chaudhry, an AdSense publisher for over eight years, just got his AdSense account banned for the same reason as Zac.

Leave a Comment more...

Two Rules for Writing Content that Gets Traffic and Money

by on Mar.21, 2012, under Make Money Online

In the course of building a blog, I have faced and surmounted several challenges. Among these challenges, I have been able to identify three critical problems that confronts every blogger; both great and small. Most of the challenges faced by many bloggers usually revolve around these three problems/components and unfortunately; your success or failure as a blogger is solely dependent these three components. Now what are these factors? They are:

  1. Quality Content
  2. Traffic
  3. Money

Without any of these three components, your blog is dead on arrival. So how do you bring these three components to work in synergy on your blog? What’s the missing link between blogs that generate tons of traffic and money; and blogs that struggle in penury? Well, I am going to answer these questions in detail.

I have been blogging for over three years now and have published over 1,000 articles on different platforms. Just recently, I did an analysis on all the articles I have written over the last three years and I observed that about 20% of my articles generated the most money, traffic and publicity. Narrowing my analysis on these 20% articles, I was able to pinpoint the exact reasons why these articles were more successful and generated more money than the rest. So based on this finding, I came up two ultimate rules for writing content that generates money and traffic effortlessly. In fact, these two rules are so simple that most people despise it. Do you want to know these rules? Then read on.

The Two Rules for Writing Great Content

Rule 1. Write what you know

Yes, the rule one for writing content that goes viral while generating money and traffic is to write what you know. I sometimes find it funny that most bloggers ignore this simple rule and yet, they wonder why they are not successful. The reason why I advocate the need to stick with what you know is that your readers can feel your passion from your write-up. They can read your mind just by reading your write-up and they can tell if you are just another worthless writer or someone worth listening to.

Now using myself as case study; I want you to know that i have read a lot of books, articles on business building and entrepreneurship. And because I am passionate about the subject of entrepreneurship, I can easily tell the difference between articles or books written by entrepreneurs and those written by professional writers. Professional writers tend to write on theories; or things they have no experience about. Therefore, I tend to stay away from write-ups written by professional writers because they lack the real-life experience and details of building a business.

The same applies to your readers. They can smell your intelligence, feel your passion and read your mind just by reading your content. So you are better off sticking with what you know. Now take a look at the big names in the information industry and you will observe that they became famous by writing on subjects they were passionate and knowledgeable about. For instance:

  • Darren Rowse – Blogging
  • Dan Sullivan – Search Engine
  • Arianna Huffington – Politics
  • Brian Clark – Content writing and marketing
  • Steve Pavlina – Personal Development
  • Glen Alsopp – Viral Marketing case studies

This list can go on and on but I think my point is made. If you want build a successful blog, then write content that you are knowledgeable about.

Rule 2. Write when you are emotional

If you want to write content that generates traffic and money, then write when you are emotional; write when you are downcast, heartbroken, in pain, happy, sad. Why? The reason is because readers tend to connect with your written words; they feel your soul by reading your written words.

Sincerely speaking, my most successful articles are the ones about my dreams, my goals, my successes and my failures. Sometimes, in my quiet time; I tend to reflect over my life as an entrepreneur. I sometimes recall my highs and my lows, my future plans, the disappointments, the backstabbing and losses I have taken in business and the lessons learned. While recalling all this in my memory, I often get emotional and sometimes shed tears. In such moments, I simply turn on my computer and write my soul out. In such emotional articles, I cry, curse, grumble, rejoice and then share the lessons learned from my experience. Believe me, such articles go viral almost instantaneously after I push the publish button.

The reason these emotional write-ups go viral is because readers tend to feel my soul. They know I am also in the same situation they are in. Through my write-ups, my readers know that I am human with a heart and a soul; not a machine hiding behind a computer. This is why you should write when you are emotional. One of the most viral articles on Problogger was written by Jon Morrow and it’s titled “How to Quit your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World.

I have read and re-read that article countless times. Now if you’ve read that article, I bet you will feel inspired and deep down in you; you are going to say “Damn!!! If Jon can do it, why can’t I.” Well, that’s the power of an emotional article. That article went viral because Jon poured his heart and soul into it.

In conclusion, these are my two rules for creating viral content that generates money and traffic. Do you have any strategy that works for you? Or do you think the two rules above are out of place? Then feel free to share your thought though the comment box below.

Ajaero Tony Martins is a serial entrepreneur and investor with a passion for teaching people how to start a business. He also known for his common sense advice and tips on investing for beginners.

Leave a Comment more...

Dot Com Pho – OMG! It’s Raining In The OC Edition

by on Mar.21, 2012, under Make Money Online

Believe it or not, it does rain in the OC. It’s a rare event but when it happens, Orange County does a fairly good imitation of what life is like for the Vancouver Dot Com crew. Not only did the rain drove us out of the Pho Ba Co patio, it drove us out of Pho Ba Co completely. The inside of the Pho Ba Co didn’t have enough seats to accommodate our group. We had to go next door to Las Fajitas Mexican Grill.

We had a full house of 18 people making out to Dot Com fiesta. We created one long table near the wall to seat everyone. If you would like to join us for a future Dot Com Pho meetup, follow me on Twitter to find the time and place. We do this every Saturday (unless I’m out of town).

For this edition of Dot Com Pho, we check out the new Apple iPad, test the power of Verizon 4G LTE, meet the lady who’s wanted in six States, try to take a picture of the bow tie man without his bow tie, hot Mexican food, and a whole lot more. Enjoy and we’ll see you next week!

Las Fajitas on Urbanspoon

Dot Com Pho Vancouver – Rapid Time Edition

A full house of ten people showed up for Vancouver’s Dot Com Pho. The crew tried out the famous spring rolls at Bao Chau, talk about the Richmond food blogger job, and get free extra noodles.

Leave a Comment more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...